Friday, October 3, 2008

Venturing out...

We had a few "firsts" today. We rode the metro over to Egide (the part of the French government that is providing Chris with his funding). The metro here is similar to the one in DC. It's very clean, no bums, and no rats. It was fairly easy to figure out how to purchase a metro card and to get to where we needed to go. The train cars are very small and during rush hour, become quite tight.

From walking around today, I realized that Chris & I do not have enough black items in our wardrobe to fit in. And I thought New Yorkers wore a lot of black! Seems that we both need very skinny jeans and black jackets to truly fit in. I'm not even sure I could get my butt into a pair of the women's jeans here...I call them "cigarette jeans" because you have to be skinny as a cigarette to fit in them.

Speaking of cigarettes, I'm going to have to be more tolerant of it since it seems the French do enjoy their cigs. We went to Egide and in the offices they smoke, so it was very hard to breathe in there. I got a bit of a headache after awhile. Julie, the woman who has been corresponding with Chris via email, was very helpful. She switched over to speaking in English for my benefit, which I greatly appreciated. She told us some good areas of the city to look for apartments, and how to ride the bus and tram (same as metro really, just have to buy a card). She also told us some other important items and started our applications for the carte de sejour (French green card). She was very sweet and most helpful. While we were there, the fire alarm went off, and Julie made a joke about how we will all die since we are not going outside. We asked if she should go and she said that they are like sheep (meaning that they will only go out if they see others going too).

Afterwards, we found a restaurant that was open across the street. It seems that most of the restaurants close between lunch and dinner. This cafe had outdoor seating, so we sat outside. We realized that it was a bad move, because of the smoke. There were non-smoking signs outside and in, but everyone outside smoked. It was hard enjoying our meal with it being blown our way...but we made it through. We ordered some water, which we found out was more expensive than most of the different from New York City. We both ordered salads that were wonderful...they had warm chevre (goat cheese), lard (which is a strip of ham like bacon), mushrooms, tomatoes, walnuts, and a wonderful dressing over lettuce.

We came back to the Citadine before we head to the grocery. We walked in and couldn't find Oreo. He had figured out how to open the cabinet doors in the bathroom and was sleeping inside the cabinet (because he had shut the door behind him). Not sure how long he had been in there. He's in there right now attempting to open them again, so I'm watching him to see how he does it exactly. He's rolling all over the floor making little meows as he attempts to pull the doors open. It's hilarious!

We are off to the grocery, and then on to the old port for some sightseeing and dinner later on. We will get some pictures posted soon.

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